Living with Dying (Updated version)

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NovaX13
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:56 pm

Living with Dying (Updated version)

Post by NovaX13 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:12 am

So, I decided to fix some issues I had with the original version of the prologue. Namely adding and elaborating upon exactly why my character is at Yamaku and fixing some issues with the timeline. Also decided to go with the first-person narration, rather than third-person.

Now, I know the big issue for some people would be: why an OC main character? Honestly, you can just put that on my limitations as a writer. It’s easier for me to tell a story focusing around a character where I have complete control of their history. So, despite that, I really hope you all enjoy the story.

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The car raced down the road, sucking snow into its wake. It was going far too fast for the near-whiteout conditions, but my dad wanted the silent, hostile trip over. I wanted the same thing, but not for the same reasons. I kept glancing over at my dad. Wanting to speak. To finally lay everything out in the open. I knew what I wanted to say, but the words refused to form.

"What's wrong?" my dad finally asked, not looking over at me.

I took a deep breath, composing myself. It was now or never. I had to ask this damn question. This question that had been eating at me ever since I saw that letter. “Dad…do you hate me?”

My dad turned and looked at me with a shocked expression. Please...don’t look at me like that. Yell at me. Get angry. But please...don’t look at me with that much hurt in your eyes. “Takeo, I—”

A loud crash and the sound of crushing metal and shattered glass invaded my ears. A sudden impact to my chest knocked me back into my seat. The next thing I knew, the car was rolling. After what felt like an eternity, the car finally came to a halt. I could feel a warm trickle run down my face. Sparing a glance to my side, I could see my dad hanging limply in his seat, suspended by his seat-belt. I reached out, believing that if I could just reach him, everything would work out. But before I could reach… I lost consciousness.

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I suddenly found myself back on the snowy road. I’m… I’m still here…? I look up to notice there were no stars in the sky, just an empty black void, and looking down notice my body was nearly translucent. Am I a ghost now? Did the accident kill me? What about dad? Is he—
My thoughts were derailed when I noticed that I was no longer alone on the road. I was suddenly face to face with a horrifically pale being. I couldn’t make out any eyes on the thing. I was unsure if it just didn’t have eyes or if the eyes were shut and invisible due to its ghostly paleness. What I did notice were its incredibly long arms ending in clawed fingers.

“What are—” I began. However, his question was interrupted as this monster suddenly impaled me on it’s clawed arm. I let out a yelp, but it wasn’t from pain. It was out of shock “What…what’s going on? Why doesn’t it hurt?! Where am I?! What are you?!” The creature smiled at me as its eyes finally opened. They were two pitch black orbs but there seemed to be twinkles of some kind of light in them. The creature’s head twitched as it lifted its other arm, before slashing down my chest.

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I gasped as I awaken and my eyes began to regain focus. Ugh, where am I ? I feel completely drained but I think I’m slowly beginning to recall what had happened. Oh god…I suddenly find myself drenched in a cold sweat as I remember the accident. Driving through a snowstorm. The question. The truck. Whatever slammed into my chest… I quickly searched my whole torso and breathe a sigh of relief when I couldn’t find anything wrong. However, that relief is short lived. In the center of my chest, I felt gauze bandages that wrapped tightly around my chest, and beneath them, I felt the outline of a large cross-shaped scar.

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Two months later...

“You sure you don’t want to sit up here?” my sister asks, using a calming tone.

I scowl at her question and began to shift in my seat uncomfortably. I had been hoping for a quiet drive from Sakumacho, but apparently my sister didn’t share that sentiment. I shake my head. “I’m fine back here. It’s...weird, being in the front seat.” Maka just doesn’t get that sitting in the front seat of a car is difficult for me, ever since the accident.

Maka smiled, “So, looking forward to life in the dorms?”

I give a shrug in response, “Eh. It’ll definitely be different.”

She looks at me through the rear-view mirror. A catty grin spread across her face. Oh no, that’s never a good sign. “Looking forward to meeting all the cute girls?”

I cough violently at the suddenness of her question. “The hell, Maka!? That’s literally the last thing on my mind!”

My sister shrugs, “Now it’s the first. And Uncle Sho always said it’s a big sister’s job to keep her little brother from turning into a NEET.”

“He never once said that,” I grumble.

“You haven’t answered my question~,” Maka teased in a sing-song tone. “It’s the country, so maybe those girls will be all over a city boy like you.”

I sigh at my sister’s obvious teasing. “You can get to the city by bus. I’m not gonna be some rare specimen of the outside world on display there. Besides, you know the real reason I’m going there.”

“Takeo…”

“It’s true Maka. The only reason mom is shipping me off to this place is so she wouldn’t need to deal with me.”

“And why would you say that?” Maka asked, glaring at me through the rear-view mirror. I think I touched a nerve. Not shocking.

I let out a sigh, “She left because she couldn’t deal with raising me. Why the hell would she want to live with me?”

“That isn’t the real reason and you know it!” snapped Maka. Yep, definitely touched a nerve. She took a deep breath. “And if you feel that way, why didn’t you say anything to her when she told you about the school?”

“It’s hard enough talking to her under normal circumstances. And I had…other things on my mind. Still trying to come to terms with all the sudden changes.” I quickly tried to change the subject, hoping to avoid an argument. “So, did you make that phone call like I asked?”

Maka nodded. “Yep, you have an appointment for later today. Why do you need to go see a—”

“I just need to talk to someone,” I said, quickly interrupting her. “There’s a lot of things I’m still dealing with.”

Maka let out a sigh. “Well, the movers Mom hired should have dropped off your stuff. Do you want me to drop you off at the school or bring you into town?”

I thought for a moment. “Town should be good.” I shifted in my seat to get more comfortable. I leaned my head back and shut my eyes, allowing my memories of the past couple months to take me away.

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I sat in silence in my hospital room. With me were Maka and my mother. I’m always shocked how at how similar Maka and Mom look. No one was talking so I decided to break the silence. “So… I fell into a coma after the accident?” I ask, seeking clarification. “And I was out for a whole month?” Maka nodded, looking on the verge of tears.

“What about dad?” My mom and sister shared a look. “Mom. What happened to dad?

My mother and Maka shared a look. My mother sighed, drawing my attention. “Your father…he didn’t make it.” Her voice was neutral. Her and Dad’s divorce may have been a nasty one, but did she really feel nothing at his death?

I looked down; my hands clenched into fists. “What about Uncle Sho? He was starting treatments before dad and I headed to Hokkaido.” Please. Some good news. ANY good news! Instead, my mother shook her head.

“It was too far along Ta-chan,” whimpered Maka. “He passed a week ago.”

I was about to say something when the doctor came in. The doctor tried to explain to me everything that had happened, but I wasn’t paying attention. I was struggling to come to terms with everything that had just been laid in front of me. My attention returned to the doctor when I finally caught two things that had been said. “What do you mean? Transplant? Flat-lined?”

The doctor looked at his notes before somberly saying, “Yes, because of the extensive damage to your heart and lungs, the only way to save you was an emergency transplant. Normally this would have been impossible, but...How do I say this…?”

Realization dawned on me and my blood ran cold. “It’s normally impossible because you would have had to wait for transplant organs, and I would have died in the meantime, but you didn’t need to worry about that because…” I trail off, unable to finish the sentence.

The doctor nods. “Your father’s organs were a perfect match. Since it was rushed it took a small amount of time before we were able to get you hooked up to the heart-lung machine to replace your heart and lungs while we proceeded with the transplant.”

“How long?” I asked, my mouth set in a firm line.

“Four minutes.”

I sat in silence, letting all the news wash over me as my mother and the doctor spoke. Four minutes. I was dead for four minutes. My dad died. My uncle died. I died. But I came back? Why? Why me? It felt like the world was crumbling beneath my feet. I looked around. When my eyes fell on the open door, I saw a creature standing in the doorway. It was tall: enough so that its head nearly scraped the top of the frame. I couldn’t make out much in terms of distinguishing features. All I could make out was the thing’s deathly pale skin. The only bit that wasn’t pale was the eyes. Two pitch black voids. I also couldn’t help but notice the creature’s unnaturally long, clawed arms, which scraped the floor.

The creature’s head jerked. It seemed to notice me. I shivered under the creature’s gaze as its mouth began to open into as smile. Where the smile would have ended for a human, the creature’s mouth just seemed to keep growing. Jagged lines began to form as the smile tore into the creature’s face. I used what little mobility I had to push myself as far away from the door as possible. My weak heart began to drum heavily as I recognized the monster, The thing from my dream. I did my best to curl up into a ball in the corner of my bed, but the various wires and tubes made that extremely difficult.

“Takeo, what’s wrong?” asked my mother.

“So many teeth…” I whimpered out. “What is that thing?!” I shout out, pointing at it.

The occupants of the room turned. “Takeo…” spoke Maka, the concern in her voice obvious. “Nothing’s there.”

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I stood in front of the grave of my uncle. I put on a smile. “Hi Uncle Sho. Hell of a way to come back into the world.”

I stare at my Uncle’s grave and rub the back of my head, letting out a dry chuckle. “Sorry I haven’t been by to visit, this is the first time they let me leave the hospital. It’s not too bad there. Plenty of time to keep up on my studies, and any time not spent doing that I’m either reading or drawing. The doctors say that’s really good for the physical therapy with my arm. Not as good as I was, but I’m building back up. Doctors actually said I was lucky. Another half an inch and my arm would have been completely crushed.” I let out a laugh at the concept of me ever being called “lucky,” especially now.

I forced a smile as I ran my good hand through my hair. “Back to blond again,” I said, trying my best to keep my thoughts positive. “The nurses wouldn’t let me dye it in the hospital. Something about the chemicals. But, I kind of missed it. I mean, I dyed it to keep from standing out, but now I’m a walking corpse so if I’m gonna stand out, might as well go for broke.” I give a self-deprecating chuckle.

I was silent for a few moments. “Dad…” My voice got caught in my throat and I could feel it as my eyes began to well up with tears. “I could have asked him that damn question anywhere. But I was always afraid he would try to escape the question, or I would try to escape the answer. So, what better place to ask him then in the car while we were driving? No way for either of us to escape. I took his attention off the road. He couldn’t see that truck coming…” I couldn’t stop it as I began to cry, the weight of everything finally crashing down, “and now he’s gone… and I still don’t have my answer.”

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I was sitting in an examination room with my mother. We sat in silence, though she kept stealing glances at me. I don’t think she knows I realize. I could tell she was about to say something when there was a knock on the door and the doctor entered. “Well, Mr. Ishida, it looks like you can go home. According to the specialists, you haven’t been having any more hallucinations and your heart and lungs are doing much better. With the right precautions you should be able to move on. I’ve got your prescriptions right here.” He handed a sheet of paper to my mother, who intently stared at what’s written down.

“Why so many?” she asked.

I grabbed the sheet as my mom and the Doctor spoke. I began looking over everything written on it. What the pills were, what they were for, when to take them, how much to take and the mountain of side effects. Heart pills, pills for my lungs, anti-rejection drugs, several immunosuppressant drugs, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication…and an antipsychotic. I let out an involuntary chuckle at that last one. Guess they want to make sure the hallucinations stay gone.

“Also, after speaking with your mother, we believe it would be best if you don’t return to your old school.” I looked up from the list, shocked at his announcement.

“While you’re doing better, the doctors would still like to keep an eye on you. Having read up on what kind of preparation normally goes into the kind of operation you had, I am in agreement. We’ve found a school that would be better for you. It’s called Yamaku Academy,” my mother explained. “It specializes in helping students that…” my mother stopped. I could tell from the look on her face that she was considering her next words carefully. “It specializes in helping students that would need easy access to a hospital.” I wanted to say something, to make some kind of argument, but upon making eye contact with Mom, I knew arguing would be pointless.

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“I’ll come pick you up in a couple hours,” said Maka.

I give my sister a nod, “Thanks Maka…for everything.”

Maka shrugged, “Eh, someone needs to keep an eye on you. Hey, you’re doing OK, right?”

I smiled at Maka. “Yeah, I’m OK.”

She smiled at me as she drove off. I let out a sigh as she drove away. I turned and began to walk down the street. It quickly became obvious to me that this was the “school town”. Everywhere I looked I saw teenagers wearing the uniform for my new school.

I stand in front of my destination, the interior of a large office building, quite possibly the largest building in this small town. I stand in front of a door that reads “DOCTOR WARREN SMITH, THERAPIST”. With a sigh I make my decision and reach for the knob. I jump back in shock when the door opens without me even touching the knob. A girl stands on the other side of the frame. She’s tall, with an average build and long, dark-purple hair. A long slick of hair covered the right side of her face, though I can see scarring behind it. She looks at me in fear. It’s almost as if shocking me scared her more. I move to the side, and motioned for her to pass me. She bows politely before running out of the room.

I watch her as she runs off before stepping into the room. There was a desk and two chairs. The wall behind the desk was decorated with credentials. There was a man sitting behind the desk, writing on a notepad. He had shoulder length black hair and was wearing a plain navy-blue t-shirt and jeans. He looks up from his desk and notices me. “Ah, you must be Takeo Ishida. I’m Warren Smith. You moved here recently, correct?” The therapist moves into one chair and motions to the other for me to take a seat. I do, sitting across from the man.

I nod, “Yeah, I just left the hospital and am transferring into Yamaku.” I blink as I realize something about the doctor. “You’re American, aren’t you?”

Warren smiles, “Moved to Japan a few years back for college. So, how can I help you today?” Warren flips a page on his notepad.

“Where to start?” I ask, chuckling dryly. “Do you want me to talk about the nightmares? Or the night terrors? Maybe the times I’ve experienced sleep paralysis?” My voice raises, “How about how I spent two months in a mental ward because I couldn’t trust what I was seeing.” I sigh as I calm down. “Actually, I know exactly where to start. In the surgery to transplant my dad’s heart and lungs into me, I died. Clinically dead for four minutes. They told me I came back. But…there are still days where…I don’t really know if I came back.” I take a deep breath.

“Part of me thinks I’m still dead.”

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Living with Dying (Updated version)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:13 am

No need to worry about writing an OC. In fact I prefer an interesting, non-Mary Sue character over version 374 of Hisao x Hanako.
So far your character checks out okay.

It's been a while since I read the first version, but afaIct without rereading that there have been some improvements.
Good work, carry on. :-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Oddball
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Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:05 pm

Re: Living with Dying (Updated version)

Post by Oddball » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:09 pm

It's an interesting start and I look forward to see where you take it. I'm not entirely sold on the fact that he even needs to go to Yamaku, but I'm sure this will be addressed.
Not Dead Yet

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